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Carlo Biado defeats Jundel Mazon in all-Filipino finals, wins 10-ball Jogja Open, pockets $12,000

Hushley Jusayan, Jundel Mazon, and Carlo Biado

With a grand finale performance that spoke of true greatness and warrior, Carlo Biado capped an amazing week in Indonesia, winning the 10-ball Jogja Open International Billiard Tournament 2018 with a brilliant 13-11 win over compatriot Jundel Mazon in front of crazy billiards fanatics at the Rama Billiard in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
 
"First of all I would like to thank God for winning this prestigious international billiard tournament. My wife, who is always beside me and my relative and friends as well." said the 34-year-old Biado of La Union who became the fifth Filipino to ever win the men's world championships title, and the first since Francisco "Django" Bustamante in 2010, finishing on top of a competition that saw 128 players from over 40 countries compete for the top prize by beating countryman Roland Garcia, 13-5, in  the 2017 World 9-Ball Championship held at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar last December.
 
On the road to an-all Filipino finals here at the 10-ball Jogja Open, Biado needed to beat Ricky Yang of Indonesia, 11-5, in the semi-final matches while Mazon toppled another Filipinio entry Hushley Jusayan, 11-9, in another final four match-up.
 
For winning the 2018 10-ball Jogja Open, Biado pocketed $12,000. Mazon took home $6,000 while Jusayan received $2,000.
 
With the victory, Biado, Mazon and Jusayan's performance boosted the nation's morale, said International Billiards and Snooker Champion "Marvelous" Marlon Manalo.
“Once again our flag has been raised in this foreign land after knowing that our Filipino kababayans  Carlo Biado, Jundel Mazon and Hushley Jusayan completed the country’s domination (top three winners) in the just ended 10-ball Jogja Open International Billiard Tournament 2018 last Sunday," said Marlon Manalo, National Press Relation Officer (PRO) of League of Barangays of the Philippines.
 
"Carlo, Jundel and Husayan's victory could not have come at a better time. He gives us something to cheer for," added Barangay Malamig chairman Marlon Manalo, the incumbent ABC president in Mandaluyong City

Chua, Ignacio Banner Country’s Bid In Japan 10-Ball Tourney

Filipino pool masters Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio

Filipino pool masters Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio are leading the way for the country’s bid when the Kantuo Open 10-Ball Championships gets underway on Saturday, February 24, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.
 
"I will do my very best for flag and country," said the 25-years-old Malaysia Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist Chua, who beat compatriot Jundel Mazon, 11-2, to rule the 2017 All Japan 10-Ball Championship held in Hyogo, Japan last November.
 
Last October, Chua also finished second in the men’s division after losing to Taiwanese Liu Cheng-Chieh in the gold-medal match. Chua took home the KRW 15,000,000 runner-up purse in the 2017 Guri International 9-Ball Championship held at the Guri Sports Complex in Guri City in South Korea.
 
Former World Pool Championships semi-finalists Marlon "Marvelous" Manalo, ABC president and chairman of Barangay Malamig in Mandaluyong City had something to say:
 
"I believe they’re our strongest bets,” Manalo referring the impressive performance of Chua and Ignacio for performing great in the international competition in Japan, Korea and the United States. 
 
"I think we have a strong chance of winning the Kantuo Open 10-Ball Championships in Japan," added Manalo, Press Relation Officer (PRO) of League of Barangays of the Philippines who represents a membership of almost 42,000 barangays.
 
Last Sunday, February 18, 2018, the two Filipino pool sharks made a friendly exhibition match.
 
Meanwhile, Allison Fisher of Great Britain, Naoyuki Ooi, Toru Kuribayashi, Hijikata Hayato and Lo Li wen of Japan are among big names will be seeing in action in the Kantuo Open 10-Ball Championships.
 
After Tokyo, Japan, Chua is schedule to compete in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for another 10-ball Championships slated on March 3 to 11, 2018.

Johann Chua Wins Big In 2017 All Japan Championship

Johann Chua

FILIPINO cue artist Johann Chua emerged champion in the 50th All Japan 10-Ball Championship Thursday night, November  23, 2017 at the Archaic Hall in Amagasaki, Japan.
 
Chua defeated countryman Jundel Mazon, 11-2, in the men's division finals to pocket the top prize of $15,000. Mazon, on the other hand went home runner-up purse of $8,000.
 
Chua race a 4-0 to 9-1 commanding lead and never looked back in the race to 11, winner's break format.
 
Chua outclassed Liu Hai Tao of China, 11-2, in the semi-finals while Mazon subdued Chang Yu-Long of Taiwan, 11-8, in other final four matches. 
 
In earlier matches, Chua subdued Asano Masato of Japan in the Round-of-16 (11-4) and compatriot Jeffrey Ignacio in the quarterfinals (11-10) while Mazon edged Ko Ping-Chung  of Chinese-Taipei, 11-6,  and Cheng Yu-Hsuan of Taiwan,11-10. 
 
"I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone. Thank you for all the support. Thank you for those who believed that I can make it once again, especially to my loved ones who were there through thick and thin. You guys have no idea how your support makes me more confident in every shot that I make." said Chua, who open his own pool hall (Cue Spot Billiard Lounge) in Asturias street corner Laong Laan
Manila.
 
"Words are not enough to describe how grateful I am today and for the never ending blessings God has given me. Winning 2017 All Japan Championship and Opening my very own pool hall is such a great honor to prove that billiard in the Philippines is still not dead." he added.
 
In the women's division, Taiwanese Chen Siming won the title.

Surging Towards the Finish Line

Jung Lin Chang

Photos By Takayama Takao

 

(Kuwait City)–With the biggest prize fund in 9-ball pool this year, the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship predictably attracted as good a collection of the professional games’ best to this Gulf nation of just over 4 million people. And on the third and penultimate day of the sport’s newest event, all that talent and all that promise came to a dramatic head.

 

It was a day that saw the game’s best engage in one epic battle after the next, with match after match taking unexpected twists, with many going right down to the very last rack, and even the very last ball.  64 players commenced battle at 10am, and when it was over close to midnight, eight warriors were left standing, ready for what surely will be a thrilling showdown to the finish on the final day Saturday.

 

In one quarterfinal, surprise entrant Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands will face off with 2015 World 9-ball Champion Ko Pin Yi. In another quarterfinal, one of the sport’s hottest players , Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, will try to keep his trajectory flying higher as he does battle with Filipino veteran Warren Kiamco.

 

The other quarterfinal features what looks to be a titanic showdown of two of pool’s best, as the current World 9-ball Champion, Austria’s Albin Ouschan, squares off with Taiwan’s Chang Jun Lin, who arguably has played the best pool all week.

 

The last quarterfinal will feature Filipino journeyman Roland Garcia taking on white hot Dang Jinghu of China.

 

The quarterfinals, which begin at 11am Kuwait time(GMT +3) will be race to 11, alternate break.

 

Although the topsy turvy nature of today’s proceedings would indicate a complete toss up in terms of favorites, several players today let it be known that they intend to be standing in the winner’s circle come Saturday evening.

Certainly nobody would be surprised to see Taiwan’s Chang raising the trophy high and pocketing the $50,000 first prize check. Chang has been one of the sport’s top players for over a decade, but found himself in a bit of a lull going back two years. This year, however, the 31 year old Taiwanese has once again found his stride, as his runner up finish in October’s US Open showed.

 

Chang has kept the momentum going in Kuwait and has been nothing short of sensational. In the round of 64 today Chang played what might be the finest match of the tournament, crushing two time World 9-ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann, 11-1. Chang kept up the onslaught in his round of 32 match versus Russia’s Maksim Dudanets, lapping the Russian 11-2. 

 

The Taiwanese finally found some resistance in the round of 16 when he came up against England’s Darren Appleton. The Brit had barely escaped a hill-hill encounter with Spain’s David Alcaide in the round of 64  and looked to have found his stride in an easy win over Czech Roman Hybler. Appleton and Chang duked it out for 2 and a half hours and the Yorkshireman seemed to have the advantage late in the match. But one mistake from the Brit cost him the tournament, as Chang put the nail in the coffin for a gritty 11-9 win.

 

Things won’t get any easier for Chang on Saturday as he matches up with Ouschan in what looks to be an epic battle. Ouschan wasn’t at his best today but he persevered through three difficult slogs, culminating in a 3 and a half hour duel with China Open champion Wu Jia Jing of China. The Austrian had numerous chances to close out Wu, but kept letting the Chinese back in the match. The battle between these two stars went straight to the cliff with Ouschan barely able to make it across the finish line first and winning, 11-10.

 

Although Ouschan is the current World 9-ball champion, the question remains whether he has anything left in the gas tank to take on and defeat a super confident Chang.

 

Another player catching many a fancy is Scotland’s Shaw, who appears to have everything going his way at the moment. After two solid wins earlier in the day, Shaw was headed to his match table to do battle with young Singaporean Aloysious Yapp when he got word that he had just made the European Mosconi Cup team next month. Already bubbling with confidence that has been building for over one year, Shaw’s demeanor soared on the good news and he handled Yapp without so much as a care in the world, winning 11 – 7.

 

Afterward a smiling and relaxed Shaw indicated he was more than ready and able to be the last man standing in Kuwait.

 

“I came into this year and my one goal was to get on the Mosconi,” Shaw said, “and right before my last match I found out that I had made the team. So I was really happy during the match. I’ve won a few tournaments this year, done pretty well in others and I’m still in here, the last eight. These days I feel that any tournament I enter I can win, and right now I feel I can win this.”

 

Shaw, however, will have to contend with Kiamco first. The 45 year old Filipino has been at the game for over two decades, and has been playing the best pool of his career in the last year and a half. The low key Filipino often plays under the radar, but as he showed in his three solid wins today, he can take any match at any time, no matter the opponent. Kiamco, though, has never won a major tournament and he’ll have to raise his game considerably to stop the streaking Scotsman.

 

Since winning the World 10-ball and World 9-ball in 2015, the 27 year old Ko is always a top favorite to win any tournament he enters. Ko, however, played hot and cold today and was lucky to escape with a nerve rattling come from behind 11-10 win over the Philippines’ Oliver Mendenilla in the round of 32.  But his steady and solid 11-7 win over the Philippines Jundel Mazon in the round of 16 showed that Ko always has the ability to bounce back.

 

The Taiwanese great will be squaring off with relative newcomer Bijsterbosch. The 22 year old Dutchman, a member of his country’s national team, may not have the notoriety of his more famous teammates, Niels Feijen and Nick Van Den Berg, but his three pressure wins today proved the youngster not only has heart, but loads of talent as well. His confidence is rising at the perfect time and he is playing without expectations.

 

“I’ve been playing really well this year,” Bijsterbosch said. “I have a lot of confidence now. My coach Alex Lely has really helped me with my thinking game, safeties and strategy. I don’t really think about winning, I just take it one match at a time, one rack at a time.”

 

China’s Dang Jinghu pulled of the biggest upset of the day when he took down the USA’s fancied Shane Van Boening in an 11-10 mind bender in the round of 32.  Dang has proved his mettle in past events, but he took it up several notches against Van Boening, who had a sizeable crowd rooting for him here in Kuwait. The win spurred Dang on, as he then flattened countryman Han Hao Xiang, 11-3, in the final 16.

 

In the quarters Dang will face surprise entrant Roland Garcia of the Philippines. The 35 year old Garcia grabbed his spot in the Kuwait Open by flying to Kuwait City from Thailand, where he works as a house pro, and entering and winning one of the brutally tough qualifiers.

 

Garcia has always been known as a superb and even rare talent, but one who would often let the pressure get to him in big matches. Today, though, Garcia showed immense maturity and skills with wins over fellow Filipino Carlo Biado, then Greece’s Alexander Kazakis. In the round of 16 Garcia came from behind to take down Alex Pagulayan in a dramatic showdown, 11-10. After 20 years of effort and plenty of heartbreak, Garcia finds himself in his first ever quarterfinals of a major tournament.

 

“I feel I have a lot more experience than in the past,” Garcia said after beating Pagulayan. “Before I don’t have the discipline. But now I’m trying to practice discipline. Before maybe I used to think too much. But now, I’m just trying to enjoy the game. I don’t really worry about it if I miss. It’s just a game. Sure I feel the pressure, but because of my experience, I just go back to the basics, and stay composed.”

 

The quarterfinals begin at 11am Kuwait time(GMT +3). The Semis will kick off at 2pm, while the finals will start at 7pm.

 

* The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Ardiya Youth Center in Kuwait City from October 24 to November 5, 2016. The winner of the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship will receive $50,000. The runner up will receive $25,000. The total prize fund is $275,000.

 

The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship is being played under the patronage of the Kuwait Olympic Committee. The WPA will be on hand in Kuwait throughout this year’s Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship  providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner.  Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/ The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa 

 

Quarterfinals, November 5, 10am


Marc Bijsterbosch(NED  vs. Ko Pin Yi(TPE)      
Jayson Shaw(GBR)  vs.  Warren Kiamco(PHL)   
Albin Ouschan(AUT) vs. Chang Jun Lin(TPE)   
Roland Garcia(PHL) vs. Dang Jinhu(CHN)  

 

RESULTS, FINAL 16


Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)  11 – 6 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)     
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 6  Jundel Mazon(PHL)    

Jayson Shaw(GBR)    11 – 7  Aloysius Yapp(SIN)    
Warren Kiamco(PHL)   11 – 3 Edwin Gamas(PHL)  

Albin Ouschan(AUT)  vs. Wu Jia Jing(CHN)     
Chang Jun Lin(TPE)  11 – 9 Darren Appleton(GBR)    

Roland Garcia(PHL) 11 – 10 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)   
Dang Jinhu(CHN)  11 – 3  Han Hao Xiang(CHN)  

 

Final 32


Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 11 – 6  Ko Ping Chung(TPE)  
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  11 – 10 Karl Boyes(GBR) 

Jundel Mazon(PHL) 11 -10  Mark Gray(GBR)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE)  11 – 10 Oliver Medenilla(PHL)  

Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 7  Mike Dechaine(USA)  
Jayson Shaw(GBR)  11 – 6 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 


Edwin Gamas(PHL)  11 – 7 Ralf Souquet(GER 
Warren Kiamco(PHL)  11 – 10 Yang Ching Shun(TPE)  

Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 5  Lee Vann Corteza(PHL)   
Wu Jia Jing(CHN)    11 – 5 Hayato Hijikata(JPN)  

Darren Appleton(GBR)  11 – 5 Roman Hybler(CZE) 
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 11 – 2 Maksim Dudanets(RUS) 

Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 10 Corey Deuel(USA)  
Roland Garcia(PHL)   11 – 7 Alexander Kazakis(GRE)  

Dang Jinhu(CHN) 11 – 10  Shane Van Boening(USA)
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 11 – 9 James Aranas Zoren(PHL)

 

Results Final 64

 

Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 11 -4 Alan Cuartero(PHL)
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 11 – 6 Raymond Faraon(PHL)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 11 – 4 Imran Salem(KUW)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 11 – 5 Mishari Buhaimed(KUW)


Jundel Mazon(PHL) 11 – 8 Niels Feijen(NED)
Mark Gray(GBR) 11 – 8 Salahaleldeen Alrimawi(KUW)
Oliver Medenilla(PHL) 11 – 4 Mark Anthony(PHL)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 6 Liu Haitao(CHN)


Mike Dechaine(USA) 11 – 7 Hiroshi Takenaka(JPN)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 4 Dennis Grabe(EST)
Jayson Shaw(GBR) 11 – 7 Wu Kun Lin(TPE)
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 11 – 9 Wang Can(CHN)


Ralf Souquet(GER) 11 – 6 Radislaw Babica(POL)
Edwin Gamas(PHL) 11 – 2 Abdulrahman Alammar(KSA) 
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 11 – 9 Imran Majid(GBR)
Warren Kiamco(PHL) 11 – 7 Artem Koshoviy


Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 -9 Mario He(AUT)
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL)  11 – 7 Payual Valeriano(PHL)
Wu Jia Jing(CHN)  11 – 6 William Millares(PHL)
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 11 – 5 Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)


Darren Appleton(GBR) 11 – 10 David Alcaide(ESP)
Roman Hybler(CZE) 11 – 3 Bruno Muratore(ITA)
Maksim Dudanets(RUS)11 – 7 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 11 – 1 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)


Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 7 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 
Corey Deuel(USA) 11 – 7 Franciso Sanchez-Ruiz(ESP)
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 8 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Roland Garcia(PHL) 11 – 9 Carlo Biado(PHL)


Shane Van Boening(USA) 11 – 5 Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 11 – 6 Anton Raga(PHL)
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 11 – 10 Konstantine Stepanov(RUS) 
James Aranas Zoren(PHL) 11 – 6 Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE)

Battle Hardened Hohmann Slugs His Way Through

Thorsten Hohmann

This Gulf nation of 4.2 million people is considered one of the richest countries on earth, a place where big business thrives.  And big business is exactly what the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship will be all about for the next two days, as the race to 9-ball pool’s biggest prize of the year kicks into high gear.
 
The stellar field of 128 of the world’s best players that began battle yesterday at the Al Ardiya Youth Center in Kuwait City has now been cut in half to 64. The always difficult and dreaded double elimination group stages are now history, and from here on in over the course of the next two days, all matches will be single elimination knockout.   The player that wins six matches will take home this brand new title, and 50,000 tax fee US dollars.
 
With a total of $275,000 on offer, the inaugural Kuwait Open 9-ball naturally attracted a field that was as good as anyone will ever see in this game. Several big names bit the proverbial dust today, –among them Dennis Orcollo, Mika Immonen, Daryl Peach, Rodney Morris and Nick Van Den Berg. But the field that remains has some of the biggest names the game has to offer, along with plenty of rising stars, and upstarts who crashed this prestigious Middle Eastern pool party.
 
It all came into shape after yet another day of tense action, as all 64 matches today were played on the losers’ side of the group stage brackets. That meant all matches were do or die, with one small roll of the ball possibly meaning either quick and brutal elimination, or perhaps a wild ride all the way to 9-ball glory. Pool is perhaps the cruelest and hardest sport to earn one’s living at, and paydays like this don’t come along every day. It’s no wonder the tension in the arena throughout today’s play was palpable.
 
Former World 9-ball Champion Mika Immonen had high hopes coming into the event  this week. But after a stinging 9-8 loss to American Hunter Lumbardo yesterday, the flying Finn had to win two today. Immonen handily won his first match  and was a prohibitive favorite against 18 year old debutante Aton Raga of the Philippines, who was playing in his very first international tournament.
 
Surprisingly, the boyish Raga stayed with Immonen throughout their tight match. Then, down 8-7 in the race to 9 contest, Raga showed the grit of a wily veteran and hung on for a scintillating 9-8 win and a spot in the Final 64.
 
Raga is another in a long list of products from the Filipino pool school of hard knocks. From the southern city of Cebu, he dropped out of school after the 6th grade to earn money for his family playing money games. He makes enough bread playing 10-ball money games that he didn’t even give a thought to playing in international events, until his manager, Rolly Baron, convinced him to give it a try. Here in Kuwait, Baron had booked Raga’s ticket for the day after the group stages. 
 
“I will have to purchase him a new ticket,” Baron said. “I truly believe that this kid will be the new face of Philippine pool.”
 
The Philippines will be well represented in the Final 64 as Pinoys make up one fourth of the remaining field with 16 players. Among those still standing are veterans Warren Kiamco, Lee Vann Corteza, Jeffrey De Luna and young talents Carlo Biado and Jeffrey Ignacio. One disappointment for the Philippines was the surprise exit of Dennis Orcollo.  Orcollo went to the wire in a very tough do or die match with Austria’s steady Mario He, before flubbing an 8-ball in the very last rack, and allowing He to take the match and advance.
 
The USA’s Shane Van Boening got back on the winning track today, outlasting former World 9-ball champion Daryl Peach, 9-6, to advance.  The only other Americans to move on are Hunter Lombardo, who has shown excellent improvement in his game lately, and veteran Corey Duel. Newly minted Hall of Famer Rodney Morris came to Kuwait looking to notch some Mosconi Cup points. But he went away empty handed when he got dumped out of the tournament by top Tawainese youngster Ko Ping Chun, 9-4.
 
Six Taiwanese players  make up the final 64, including 2015 World 9-ball Champion Ko Pin Yi, recent US Open runner up Chang Jun Lin, and current world number 1, Cheng Yu Hsuan. Cheng looked the goods today with a 9-4 drubbing of Canadian John Morra.
 
China’s top two players, Wu Jia Jing and Liu Haitao, came through the losers side today to qualify for the final 64.
 
Fans may want to pay close attention to those top players who have not had an easy ride to the knockout rounds.  Spain’s David Alcaide has been through the gauntlet in the last two days. After a bitter hill-hill loss to Darren Appleton on day 1, Alcaide came back and won two matches today to quality. His last match against the Philippines Richard Alinsub went down to the last rack, with the Spaniard barely holding on for a clutch 9-8 win and a spot in the final 64.
 
The same could be said for England’s Mark Gray. Gray is ranked number one on the Euro tour and his rock steady stroke is always dangerous. After losing his first match yesterday, Gray had two solid wins today against tough opponents to advance to the knockout stage.
 
Perhaps no other top player has taken more heat on his way to the Final 64 then two-time World 9-ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann. After winning his first match 9-8 over the Philippines Roland Garcia on day 1, the German lost a hill-hill thriller to Corey Duel later in the day. Today Hohmann had to contend with stingy upstart Moroccan Bouchaib Farhat, who fought toe to toe with the German for 13 racks until Hohmann pulled away on a single mistake by his young opponent.
 
Whereas some players may prefer to waltz into the money rounds, Hohmann seems to feed off the rough and tumble. In fact, the German has been looking to recapture his mojo lately by doing battle in practice and in competition, and taking inspiration from one of the games hardest working and most successful players.
 
“I was very confident going into this tournament,” the 37 year old Hohmann said after his qualifying win today.  “I was in New York City lately practicing with Hunter Lombardo 8 hours a day at Amsterdam Billiards. I'm just hungry watching Shane win all of these tournaments. Watching him win the US Open for the 5th time was inspiring because he works the hardest in pool. He's the one that complains the least and does the job and that actually inspired me. I remember how it used to be playing that much and being hungry and wanting to win tournaments. And you lose that over the years. So watching him win the US Open inspired me to put in the hours and work.   I'm just happy to be in the last 64. I haven't had a tournament win in over a year and I need to prove myself.”
 
Play in the round of 64 begins on Friday at 10am Kuwait time, GMT +3. The rounds of 64, 32 and 16 will be played Friday, while the quarters, semis and finals will be played on Saturday. All matches in the knockout stage up to the final will be race to 11, alternate break. The final will be race to 13, alternate break.
 
* The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Ardiya Youth Center in Kuwait City from October 24 to November 5, 2016. The winner of the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship will receive $50,000. The runner up will receive $25,000. The total prize fund is $275,000.
 
The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship is being played under the patronage of the Kuwait Olympic Committee.
 
The WPA will be on hand in Kuwait throughout this year’s Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship  providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 
 
Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa 
 
Day 2
Groups 1-8 First Session
 
Group 1
Mark Anthony(PHL) 9- 5 Abdulla Falah(KSR)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 2  Ameur Abdelati Riad(MOR)
 
 Group 2
Mika Immonen(FIN) 9 – 4 Ahmed Acana Okaily(JOR)
Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW) 9 – 4 Khalid Al Mutairi(KUW)
 
Group 3
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 7 Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 2 Saeed Aseeri(KSA)
 
Group 4
Tareq Al Mulla(KUW) 9 – 6 So Shaw(GBR)
Francisco Diaz Piarro(ESP) 9 – 8 Andreja Klasovic(CEZ)
 
Group 5
Khalid Sayaf(KUW) 9 – 5 Mohammad Saleh(KUW) 
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 5 Marcus Juva(FIN)
 
Group 6
Raymund Faraon(PHL) 9 – 7 Abdullah Alsheha(KUW)
Muhammad Al Gumaiz(KSR) 9 – 6 Hamza M. Saeed Ali(ERI)
 
Group 7
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 9 – 4 Abdulla Alshammari(KSR) 
Radislaw Babica(POL) 9 – 3 Nadim Okbani(ALG) 
 
Group 8
Tommy Dato-on(PHL)9 – 3 Mohammad Alhmoud(KUW)
Mario He(AUT) 9 – 6 Irsal Nasution(INA)
 
Groups 1 to 8, 2nd Session
 
Group 1
Mark Anthony(PHL) 9 – 5 Aref Ali Awadhi(KUW)
Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 9 – 4 John Morra(CAN)
 
Group 2
Anthony Raga(PHL) 9 -8 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 7 Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW)
 
Group 3
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 5 Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 2 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)
 
Group 4
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 9 – 8 Francisco Diaz Pizarro(ESP)  
Payual Valeriano(PHL) 9 – 1 Tareq Al Mulla(KUW)
 
Group 5
Artem Koshoviy(UKR) 9 – 1 Khalid Sayaf(KUW)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 6 Daryl Peach(GBR 
 
Group 6
Raymund Faraon(PHL) 9 – 8 Joshua Filler(GER)
Mishari Buhaimed(KUW)  9 – 2 Muhammad Al Gumaiz(KSR)
 
Group 7
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 –6 Omar Al Shaheen(KUW)
Radislaw Babica(POL) 9- 7 Ricky boy Godez(PHL) 9 – 4 
 
Group 8
Lui Haitao(CHN) 9 – 6 Tommy Dato-on(PHL)
7 Mario He(AUT) 9- 8 Dennis Orcollo(PHL)  
 
 
 
Group 9 to 16 1st Session
Roman Hybler(CEZ) 9 – 6 Dario Hopilito(PHL)
Mark Gray(GBR) 9 – 4 Fahad Aljassas(BAH)
 
Group 10
Rodney Morris(USA) 9 – 0 Meshall Al Murdhi(KUW) 
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 0 Fawal Abdul Latifal
 
Group 11
David Alcaide(ESP)9 – 3 Mohammed Alhosani(KUW)
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 9 – 6 Majed Al Azmi(KUW)
 
Group 12
Ruslan Chinakov(RUS) 9 – 3 Cherif Zine-El Abidine(MOR)
Jundel Mazon(PHL) 9 – 4 Robert Hart(USA
 
Group 13
Bouchaib Farhat(MOR) 9 – 8 Masser Al Mujaibel(KUW)
Roland Garcia(PHL)  9 – 6 Nick Malai(GRE)
 
Group 14
Mieszko Fortunski(POL)9 – 6 Brandon Shuff(USA)
Ong Zhao Chieng(SIN) 9 – 2 Ali Hadi Al Marri(QTR)
 
Group 15
Imran Majid(GBR) 9 – 3 Bader Al Awadhi(KUW) 
Jalal Yousef(VEN) 9 – 5 Wiktor Zielinski(POL)
 
Group 16
Ahmed Naim Ali(JOR) 9 – 7 Li Hewen(CHN) 
Maksim Dudanet(NED) 9 – 2Mohamed Chakib El Raousti(ALG)
 
Group 9 to 16, 2nd Session
 
Group 9
Roman Hybler(CEZ) 9 – 6 Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)
 Mark Gray(GBR) 9 – 4 Elmer Haya(PHL )
 
Group 10
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 4 Johann Chua(PHL) 
 Ko Ping Chun(TPE) 9 – 4 Rodney Morris(USA)
 
Group 11
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 8 Richard Alinsub
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 9 – 1 Muhammad Bewi(INA)
 
Group 12
Ruslan Chinakov(RUS) 9 – 6 Waleed Majid(QAT) 
Jundel Mazon(PHL) 9 – 2 Marcus Chamat(SWE)
 
Group 13
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 6 Bouchaib Farhat(MOR)
Roland Garcia(PHL)  9 – 4 Shaun Wilkie(USA)  
 
Group 14
Takenaka Hirishi(JPN) 9 – 4 Mieszko Fortunski(POL)
Edwin Gamas(PHL) 9 – 5 Ong Zhao Chieng(SIN)
 
 
Group 15
Imran Majid(GBR) 9 – 3 Ivica Putnik(CRO)
Dennis Grabe(EST) 9 – 4 Jalal Yousef(VEN)
 
Group 16
Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  9 – 4 Ahmed Naim Ali(JOR) 
Maksim Dudanet(RUS) 9 – 6 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 

A Fine, Fun Start In Kuwait City

Pin Yi Ko

It was a busy day of high caliber pool  in Kuwait City on Wednesday, as the inaugural Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship got underway at the Al Ardiya Youth Center, with all 128 players seeing action on 16 tables.
 
Whenever this many of the very best pool players in the world gather in one building to do battle, two things always seem to stand out. First, in professional pool the talent level gets more varied and better each and every year. Secondly, because of this first fact, and the nature of the game itself, you can never, ever take anything for granted.  The minute you think you’ve got a match won or you are cruising to victory, is probably the moment when the pool gods will begin to conspire against you.
 
Both of these facets of championship pool were on full display over 12 long hours of play today. And when the proceedings concluded,  32 relieved players had notched two wins and booked their spots into the final 64 knockout stage that begins on Friday.  Those 32 players will enjoy a well -deserved rest on Thursday, which will see all losers side matches in the 16 groups and the field cut in half.
 
Of course that’s when the real fun begins. From there the tournament will be a two day sprint to the finish line and the $50,000 first prize. The total prize fund of $275,000 is the largest in professional 9-ball in 2016.
 
Perhaps it’s the thought of 9-ball’s biggest prize of the year that had early nerves jangling.  Spain’s David Alcaide looked to have former World 9-ball Champion Darrren Appleton on the ropes in their stellar first round match, but at 8-8 and breaking for the match, the Spaniard watched in horror as the cue ball dropped straight into the side pocket off the break. Appleton proceeded to clear and stayed on the winners’ side. The Yorkshireman came back later in the day to beat Indonesia’s Muhammad Bewi to book his spot in the final 64 knockout stage.
 
The Philippines rising young gun Jeffrey Ignacio must have thought he had a clear run to the final 64 after first thrashing Polish veteran Radislaw Babica 9 -4, then standing on the hill with an 8-3 lead over Saudi Arabia’s very capable Abdulrahman Alammar.  But from there it all fell apart for the fancied Filipino, as Alammar clawed back into the match and won at the wire, 9-8, to advance.  
 
 
Two time world champion Thorsten Hohmann had one of those days where he surely felt he had taken out a long term lease on a high wire. The German great first had to fend off a furious fight back from talented Filipino Roland Garcia to barely win, 9-8. Then in the winner’s side match later, Hohmann again got taken to the limit by the USA’s Corey Duel. Tied at 8 and breaking for the match, Hohmann scratched off the break, leaving a clear for the American, who moved on.
 
The USA’s Shawn Wilkie could almost taste his best result in an overseas tournament as he was up 8-5 over former World 9-ball champion Alex Pagulayan in a winner’s side match. But some crafty jumping by the Canadian-Filipino led to some hair raising clears and it was Pagulayan who advanced instead. Wilkie will get another shot at the final 64 on Thursday.
 
A similar fate befell Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki. Up 8-6 in his winners’ side match versus Russia’s Konstantine Stepanov, the Pole couldn’t close the deal. The Russian stormed back and ran the final rack for a well-deserved spot in the knockout rounds.
 
Not everyone had to put out fires today and, in fact, some looked downright cool as a cucumber in a chest full of ice.  Current World 9-ball Champion Albin Ouschan advanced  with two solid wins today, first over Czech Republic’s Roman Hybler, 9-7, and then the Philippines Elmer Haya, 9-1.   Former World 9-ball champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands easily handled the Philippines Jeffrey De Luna, 9-4, then took down strong Japanese Naoyuki Oi, 9-6. 
 
2015 World 9-ball champion Ko Pin Yi won two matches to advance, as did recent US Open runner up Chang Jung Lin. Their veteran countryman Yang Ching Shun had a confidence boosting day, first cutting down the Philippines Tommy Dato-On 9-7, then taking a big scalp in top Filipino Dennis Orcollo, 9 – 5.
 
The Philippines needn’t worry about not being represented well in the final 64 as Warren Kiamco, Carlo Biado, Lee Van Cortea, James Aranas Zoren, Oliver Mederilla, and Allan Cuartero all advanced with two wins each today.
 
Everyone expects the recent US Open champion Shane Van Boening to be there when the field reaches the money rounds. But the American great has some difficult work left. After an easy first round win, the Van Boening came up against his traveling buddy and roommate, fellow American Mike Dechaine, in a winner’s side match.  The two played a high quality match but it was Dechaine avenging a recent loss to Van Boening in the US Open who pulled out the win, 9-6. Van Boening will get one more chance on Thursday.
 
While it’s nigh impossible to pick a winner at this early stage, many eyes and bets this week are on Scotland’s Jayson Shaw.  Shaw has been building up a head of steam in pool circles over the last year. He’s won several notable events, recently placed third in the US Open, and is currently a near shoo-in to m
 
Jayson ShawBut it’s not just his actions on the blue pitch that speak volumes about where this man is going. Just listen to Shaw speak about the state of his actual game and his mental game, and you’ll get an idea of where he may very well be headed this week in Kuwait.ake the European Mosconi Cup team.  The Scotsman seems to possess all the right ingredients to go on a memorable tear through the sport. Today in Kuwait, he appeared to be just warming up for bigger things with two easy wins.
 
“I've put a lot of time in over the last year practicing hard and I've got that confidence,” Shaw said after his second win of the day. “Right from the start of the year I won some tourneys and I just kept going, not stopping or taking any little breaks like that.
 
“I’m playing really well and I can see that sometimes my opponents get uncomfortable and I feel people see that in me now, the confidence. So I think I have an edge over a few players now, which is massive. I actually feel that some players want to avoid me now.
 
“Pool is 60% mental, 30% skill and 10% luck.  If you can go out there and you got your head right and you're just in the zone and you play real good, there's only one person that can beat you and that's yourself.  Over the last year I've worked on the psychology of the game by not getting mad, enjoying it, not over-thinking things, just going out there and doing my thing. Last year if I'd been a mistake I’d just blow up and then lost the match. But this year there has been a lot of situations where I've made mistakes and I stayed calm. And then great things happen.”
 
* The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Ardiya Youth Center in Kuwait City from October 24 to November 5, 2016. The winner of the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship will receive $50,000. The runner up will receive $25,000. The total prize fund is $275,000.
 
The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship is being played under the patronage of the Kuwait Olympic Committee.
 
The WPA will be on hand in Kuwait throughout this year’s Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship  providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 
 
Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Day 1 Results, Group Stages
 
Group 1
Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 9 – 6 Mark Anthony(PHL)
Allan Cuartero(PHL) 9 – 3 Abdulla Falah(KSR)
Aref Ali Awadhi(KUW) 9 – 8 Ameur Abdelati Riad(MOR)
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 9 – 7 John Morra(CAN)
 
Group 2
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 -8 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Imran Salem(KUW) 9 – 8 Ahmed Acana Okaily(JOR)
Anthony Raga(PHL) 9 – 6 Khalid Al Mutairi(KUW)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 9 – 6 Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW)
 
Group 3
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 4 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 4 Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)
Salahaleldeen Alrimawi(KUW) 9 – 4 Saeed Aseeri(KSA)
Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 9 – 5 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP)
 
Group 4
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 9 – 6 Tareq Al Mulla(KUW)
Olliver Mederilla(PHL) 9 – 3 So Shaw(GBR)
Payual Valeriano(PHL) 9 – 2 Francisco Diaz Piarro(ESP)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 2 Andreja Klasovic(CEZ)
 
Group 5
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 3 Mohammad Saleh(KUW)
Mike Dechaine(USA) 9 – 1 Khalid Sayaf(KUW)
Artem Koshoviy(UKR) 9 -5 Marcus Juva(FIN)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 5 Daryl Peach(GBR)
 
Group 6
Jayson Shaw(GBR) 9 – 1 Raymund Faraon(PHL)
Mishari Buhaimed(KUW) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alsheha(KUW)
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Muhammad Al Gumaiz(KSR)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 2 Hamza M. Saeed Ali(ERI)
 
Group 7
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 1 Abdulla Alshammari(KSR)
Ricky boy Godez(PHL) 9 – 4 Omar Al Shaheen(KUW)
Abdulrahman Alammar(KSA) 9 -5 Nadim Okbani(ALG)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 4 Radislaw Babica(POL)
 
Group 8
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 7 Tommy Dato-on(PHL)
Dennis Orcollo(PHL) 9 – 1 Mohammad Alhmoud(KUW)
Warren Kiamco(PHL) 9 – 7 Mario He(AUT)
Lui Haitao(CHN) Irsal 9 – 0 Nasution(INA)
 
Group 9
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 7 Roman Hybler(CEZ)
Elmer Haya(PHL) 9 – 3 Dario Hopilito(PHL)
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 9 – 5 Fahad Aljassas(BAH)
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL) 9 -5 Mark Gray(GBR)
 
Group 10
Johann Chua(PHL) 9 – 2 Meshall Al Murdhi(KUW)
William Millares(PHL) 9 – 5 Rodney Morris(USA)
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 2 Fawal Abdul Latifal
Ko Ping Chun(TPE) 9 – 5 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 11
Darren Appleton(GBR) 9 – 8 David Alcaide(ESP)
Muhammad Bewi(INA) 9 – 6 Mohammed Alhosani(KUW)
Bruno Muratore(ITA) 9 – 3 Majed Al Azmi(KUW)
Richard Alinsub(PHL) 9 – 5Wu Kun Lin(TPE)
 
Group 12
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) 9 – 6 Ruslan Chinakov(RUS)
Marcus Chamat(SWE) 9 – 1 Cherif Zine-El Abidine(MOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 0 Robert Hart(USA)
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 5 Jundel Mazon(PHL)
 
Group 13
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 3 Bouchaib Farhat(MOR)
Shaun Wilkie(USA) 9 – 4 Masser Al Mujaibel(KUW)
Corey Duel(USA) 9 – 7 Nick Malai(GRE)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 8 Roland Garcia(PHL)
 
Group 14
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 4 Mieszko Fortunski(POL)
Edwin Gamas(PHL) 9 – 4 Brandon Shuff(USA)
Takenaka Hirishi(JPN) 9 – 5 Ali Hadi Al Marri(QTR)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 3 Ong Zhao Chieng(SIN)
 
Group 15
Dennis Grabe(EST) 9 – 5 Bader Al Awadhi(KUW)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) 9 – 6 Imran Majid(GBR)
Ivica Putnik(CRO) 9 – 5 Jalal Yousef(VEN)
Dang Jin Hu(CHN) 9 – 3 Wiktor Zielinski(POL)
 
Group 16
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 5 Li Hewen(CHN)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 7 Ahmed Naim Ali(JOR)
James Aranas Zoren(PHL) 9 – 2 Mohamed Chakib El Raousti(ALG)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 6 Maksim Dudanet(NED)
 
 
 
Day 1 Winners Side Matches
 
Group 1
Allan Cuartero(PHL) 9 – 6 Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)   9 – 3 Aref Ali Awadhi(KUW)  
 
Group 2
Imran Salem(KUW) 9 – 7 Hunter Lombardo(USA)  
Karl Boyes(GBR )  9 – 8 Anthony Raga(PHL)
 
Group 3
Niels Feijen(NED)  9 – 6 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)  
Salahaleldeen Alrimawi(KUW) 9 – 6  Nick Van Den Berg(NED
 
Group 4
Olliver Mederilla(PHL)   9 – 2 Han Hao Xiang(CHN)  
Ko Pin Yi(TPE)   9 – 7 Payual Valeriano(PHL)  
 
Group 5
Mike Dechaine(USA)   9 – 6 Shane Van Boening(USA)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN)   9 – 4 Artem Koshoviy(UKR)  
 
Group 6
Jayson Shaw(GBR)  9 – 3 Mishari Buhaimed(KUW)  
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 8 Joshua Filler(GER)    
 
Group 7
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 7 Ricky Boy Godez(PHL)  
Abdulrahman Alammar(KSA) 9 – 8 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)  
 
Group 8
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 5  Dennis Orcollo(PHL)  
Warren Kiamco(PHL) 9 – 7 Lui Haitao(CHN
 
Group 9
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 1  Elmer Haya(PHL)  
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL)   9 – 1 Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)   
 
Group 10
 William Millares(PHL)  9 – 5 Johann Chua(PHL 
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 6  Ko Ping Chun(TPE)  
 
Group 11
Darren Appleton(GBR)  9- 4 Muhammad Bewi(INA)  
Bruno Muratore(ITA)  9 – 3 Richard Alinsub(PHL)  
 
Group 12
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)  9 – 7 Marcus Chamat(SWE)   
Chang Jung Lin(TPE)  9 – 7 Waleed Majid(QAT)  
 
Group 13
Alex Pagulayan(CAN)  9 – 8 Shaun Wilkie(USA)  
Corey Duel(USA) 9 – 8  Thorsten Hohmann(GER)  
 
Group 14
Alexander Kazakis(GRE)  9 – 6 Edwin Gamas(PHL)  
Carlo Biado(PHL)  9 – 5 Takenaka Hirishi(JPN)  
 
Group 15
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)  9 – 3 Dennis Grabe(EST)  
Dang Jin Hu(CHN)   9 – 7 Ivica Putnik(CRO)  
 
Group 16
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 8 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)  
James Aranas Zoren(PHL)  9 – 7 Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 

Mazon chalks up a second undefeated win on the Action Pool Tour; the VA State 8-Ball Championships

Jundel Mazon and Brandon Shuff

Whitman comes from the loss side to capture Women's title

 

Jundel Mazon of the Philippines has been among the top 10 finishers in 10 events this year, including a stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour (2nd), the NC State 8-Ball Championships (3rd), the Gotham City Classic (7th), the US Open 9-Ball Championships, the 4th Annual Steinway Classic, the Houston Open and 42nd Annual Texas Open (all 9th), but he has only won twice, both times on the Action Pool Tour. In September, he defeated Brandon Shuff in the finals to take the APT's seventh tour stop. On the weekend of November 14-15, he defeated Shuff a second time in the finals to take the tour's ninth stop and become the second player to win the VA State 8-Ball Championships, which drew 36 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

 
In a concurrently-run Women's event, Kim Whitman won three on the loss side to meet and defeat Barbara Yeager in the finals to become the second VA State 8-Ball Women's champion. The Women's event drew nine entrants. 
 
Mazon's path through the 36-entrant field avoided a confrontation versus the event's defending champion, Mike Davis, who was sent to the loss side by Danny Green in the third round, and eliminated by Nilbert Lim in the matches that determined the tie for seventh. Following a bye and a second round shutout over Luther Pickerall, Mazon did have to face the APT's top-ranked player, Shaun Wilkie (runner-up to Davis in 2013) in a match that went double hill, before advancing Mazon to a match versus Green. He defeated Green to face Larry Kressel in a winners' side semifinal. Shuff, in the meantime (third in 2013), faced Reymart Lim.
 
Mazon downed Kressel 7-5, as Shuff was sending Lim over 7-3. In their first of two, Mazon defeated Shuff 7-2 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for him to get back.
 
On the loss side, Kressel picked up Nilbert Lim, who'd just eliminated Cary Dunn and Davis, both 6-4. Reymart Lim ran into Danny Green, who'd defeated Brian Dietzenbach and Shannon Fitch, also both 6-4. Lim battled to double hill before being ousted by Green, who, in the quarterfinals, met Kressel, who'd shut Lim out. Green and Kressel battled to double hill before Green advanced for a shot against Shuff in the semifinals. 
 
Shuff took the semifinal match versus Green 6-2 and got a second shot at Mazon in the hot seat. To no avail, as Mazon took the extended, single race 9-2 to capture the VA State 8-Ball Championships title.
 
In the Women's event, unattended by the 2013 winner and runner-up (Cheryl Pritchard and Jackie Rivera) Kim Whitman and Barbara Yeager battled twice for the title; once in a winners' side semifinal and again, in the finals, in two very different kinds of matches. The small field dictated that a single match put both of them into the winners' side semifinals; Whitman had defeated Sierra Reams 6-4 and Yeager had shut out Soo Emmett. Sheri Bruner and Jacki Duggan, in the meantime, squared off in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Duggan advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-2 victory over Bruner, and was met by Yeager, who'd shut Whitman out. Yeager claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Duggan and waited for what turned out to be the fateful, and quite different second match against Whitman.
 
On the loss side, Bruner picked up Reams, who'd defeated Emmett 5-2. Whitman drew Nicole Fleming, who'd eliminated Tina Scott 5-3. Bruner and Whitman advanced to quarterfinals; Bruner 5-2 over Reams and Whitman 5-3 over Fleming. Whitman gave up only a single rack to Bruner in the quarterfinals, and completely shut out Duggan in the semifinals. In sharp contrast to their meeting in the hot seat match, Yeager and Whitman fought to double hill before Whitman prevailed to take the Women's title.
 

Ignacio goes from 13th in US Open to first on the Q City 9-Ball Tour

After joining Mike Dechaine, Carlo Biado and Rodney Morris in the tie for 13th place at the 40th Annual US Open 9-Ball Championships in Norfolk, Virginia, Jeffrey Ignacio traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to compete on the Q City 9-Ball Tour. He joined 25 other competitors in the event, hosted by Brown's Billiards in Raleigh, and went undefeated to claim the title.
 
Playing as a 'pro' in the handicapped event, Ignacio had to win 13 games, every time he played; two more than he had to play in any of the eight matches he played at the Open. Ignacio lost his opening match, and then won six on the loss side, including victories over Earl Strickland, Shaun Wilkie, Mika Immonen and Jundel Mazon, before Ruslan Chinahov eliminated him from further play. 
 
The handicapped advantage of some of Ignacio's adversaries in Raleigh almost cost him. He was forced to win a deciding game in his winners' side semifinal match against Buddy Fisher, racing to 6; final score 13-5. David Smith, in the meantime, sent Joe Cosky to the loss side 5-4 (Cosky racing to 7). Ignacio was forced into his second straight double hill match against Smith, battling for the hot seat. He prevailed 13-4, and waited on what turned out to be the return of Steve Page.
 
Page, who'd been sent to the loss side in an early round by Brad Shearer, won seven on the loss side to face Ignacio in the finals. In loss-side victories #3 and #4, Page defeated Taz Holiday 10-4, and shut out Jeff K, to draw Fisher. Cosky picked up David Brown, who'd defeated Thomas Michael and Brad Shearer, both 8-3.
 
Brown and Page advanced to the quarterfinals; Page 10-5 over Fisher, and Brown 8-4 over Cosky. Page then eliminated Brown 10-5, and chalked up his second shutout, this one over Smith in the semifinal. Ignacio, though, completed his undefeated run with a 13-7 win in the finals over Page, to claim the event title.
 
The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 7-8, at Chambley's Chalk & Cue in Statesboro, NC, will be the $1,000-added NC State 8-Ball Championships. It will be the first time that the tour has featured an 8-ball event. According to tour director Herman Parker, it's a feature that players on the tour have been requesting, and will likely not be the last.

Davis adds NC State 8-Ball Championship to his list

Mike Davis

Having won the North Carolina State 10-Ball Championship back in July, Mike Davis returned to the Tar Heel State and chalked up an undefeated run to claim the NC State 8-Ball Championship on the weekend of November 7-8. The $1,000-added event drew 46 entrants to Chandley's Chalk and Cue, in Statesville, NC.
 
Davis was joined by a few familiar foes, a couple of whom – Stevie Moore and Justin Hall – he faced among the winners' side final four. As Davis was busy defeating Stevie Moore 9-4, Justin Hall was caught up in a double hill battle that he eventually won against Shannon Fitch. In the hot seat match that followed, Hall took an early and commanding lead that put him on the hill, ahead by six, at 8-2. Davis came back to claim the hot seat, where he waited for Hall's return.
 
On the loss side, Moore picked up Jundel Mazon, who'd been sent to the loss side by Hall in a winners' side final eight battle, and then defeated Jason "Jaybird" Brown, double hill, and Scott Lewis 9-4 (races shifted to 9 in the first, loss-side money rounds). Fitch drew Clint Clark, who'd defeated Andy Twichen 7-2 and survived a double hill battle against Dan Heidrich.
 
Clark and Mazon advanced to the quarterfinals; Clark with a 9-7 win over Fitch, and Mazon, eliminating Moore 9-3. Mazon downed Clark 9-7, before having his four-match, loss-side streak ended by Hall 9-6, in the semifinals. Davis completed his undefeated run with an 11-6 second victory over Hall in the finals.

Dechaine goes undefeated to win inaugural Gotham City Billiard Club 9-Ball Pro Classic

Photo courtesy of Eli Ceballos

Mike Dechaine stopped a loss-side bid by Warren Kiamco and went undefeated, to win the inaugural Gotham City Billiard Club's 9-Ball Pro Classic on the weekend of October 17-19. The $11,000-added event, held under the auspices of the Predator Pro-Am Tour, was dedicated to the memory of Gotham City Billiard Club owner Kevin Buckley's sister, Sharon "Sam" Fagnoni, who passed away in May. It drew a star-studded, full field of 64 entrants that, in addition to Dechaine and Kiamco, included Gotham City Billiard Club's house pro, Jorge Rodriguez,  Earl Strickland, Thorsten Hohmann, Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton, Karl Boyes, Mika Immonen, Dennis Orcollo, Jason Klatt, Mike Davis, Jundel Mazon and Carlo Biado.
 
Four of those 14 advanced to the winners' side semifinals, which pitted Rodriguez against Dechaine, as Kiamco faced Klatt. Dechaine downed Rodriguez 10-4 and in the battle for the hot seat, faced Klatt, who'd sent Kiamco to the loss side 10-7. Dechaine claimed the hot seat 10-4 over Klatt.
 
By the time Kiamco and Rodriguez came to the loss side, nine of the 14 mentioned had been eliminated. Kiamco drew Orcollo, who'd just defeated Davis 10-4, and Mazon 10-7; Mazon having previously ended Shaw's weekend 10-4. Rodriguez picked up Francisco Sanchez Ruiz who'd ousted Immonen 10-8 and Biado, double hill; Biado having previously stopped Appleton's bid 10-7. Gone before all of this were Strickland, Hohmann and Boyes, who, along with Alex Kazakis, finished in the last money round, tied for 13th place.
 
Ruiz defeated Rodriguez 10-6, as Kiamco was busy dropping Orcollo 10-8. Kiamco then took the quarterfinal match versus Ruiz 10-5 to earn himself a re-match versus Klatt in the semifinals. Kiamco successfully wreaked his vengeance on Klatt 10-6 and turned his attention to Dechaine in the hot seat.
 
In the modified race to 13, Kiamco, coming from the loss side, needed to reach that figure first, to extend the match to 15 games. Though he kept it relatively close, and got to 10, Dechaine got out in front to reach 13 first and claim the event title.
 
Predator Tour director Tony Robles thanked Gotham City Billiard Club owners, Kevin and Isabel Buckley, for their hospitality and the money added to the tournament. Thanks were also extended to sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League (PlayNAPL.com), Ozone Billiards, Delta-13 racks, Gothamcitytechnologies.com, PoolontheNet.com, Phil Cappelle of Billiards Press, and TheDevitoTeam.com. Special thanks went out to event photographers Eli Ceballos, Laye Kaba, Karl Kantrowitz and to Robles' tour staff – William Finnegan, Mandy Wu, Ron Mason, Rob Omen, Irene Kim, Upstate AL of AZBTV (which streamed the event throughout the weekend), Brad McDuffie, Joe Wilson Torres, and (his) "amazing wife, Gail Robles." 
 
Next on tap, moving from one Classic to the next, will be the $7,000-added, 4th Annual Steinway Classic, set for November 1-3 at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Coming on the heels of the US Open 9-Ball Championships, the Steinway Classic has already signed up many of the players who competed in the Gotham City Billiards Pro 9-Ball Classic, including the Steinway Classic's defending champion, Warren Kiamco. The event's 2013 champion, Shane Van Boening, will be competing as well, along with (among others) Ralf Souquet, Alex Pagulayan, Johnny Archer, Rodney Morris,  Justin Bergman, Dennis Hatch, Jeremy Sossei, and Brandon Shuff. According to contributing AZBilliards writer, Geoff Conway, the field will be the largest turnout for this event in the four years that it has been held.